Monday, September 22, 2008

Tough DUI laws in California as many drive drunk without getting caught

California DUI lawyers at are told a common problem that is found in the United States as well as the rest of the world it the problem of drunk driving. Driving under the influence or DUI as it is known in the U.S. is the act of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or in inebriated condition.

More than 30 million Americans will hit the road this Labor Day weekend for one last summer road trip. But a new survey indicates many of those drivers admit they may be driving while under the influence of alcohol.

One in 12 American adults admit they may have driven while drunk within the last year. A survey found that 7 percent of American adults say they have driven within the last 12 months even though they thought they may have been over the legal blood alcohol limit for drinking and driving in their state.

Males were almost three times more likely than women to say they have driven when they thought they were above the legal limit

Young adult drivers -- ages 18 to 34 -- were more than twice as likely as older drivers to admit the same behavior

Of those drivers who admitted driving while possibly over the legal limit, one in nine (12%) say they have been arrested for driving while intoxicated sometime in their life

While driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws vary by state, according to the legal experts at, all 50 states currently define drunk driving as having blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, a driver can still be arrested and convicted for a DUI if they have a BAC below 0.08% when there is other evidence of impaired driving.

Here are some legal tips about DUI laws:

Get a ride. Besides putting your life and those of others in danger, some states give police the authority to make a DUI arrest on probable cause if you are intoxicated and in your vehicle with your keys, even if the vehicle is not moving.

California DUI laws involve more than just alcohol. DUI laws are not limited to alcohol use. Most states take into account any substance, including marijuana, prescription drugs and even over-the-counter drugs, such as antihistamines, which may impair a driver's ability to think clearly and safely operate a motor vehicle.

Be careful before refusing a sobriety test. You may refuse acrobatics and gymnastics aka Field Sobriety Tests but you may not refuse to take a chemical test (blood, breath, urine) as nearly every state has a so-called "implied consent" law, and under such laws a refusal can result in suspension of your driver's license for three to 12 months. This is true even if you're eventually found not guilty of the drunk driving charge. Further, if your drunk driving case goes to trial, the prosecutor can tell the jury that you wouldn't take the test, which may lead the jury members to conclude that because you refused you were, in fact, under the influence. In states such as California, juries are instructed that they may infer that you were conscious of your own guilt.

Retain a DUI Defense lawyer. Because defending against a charge of driving under the influence requires an understanding of scientific and medical concepts, it's best to hire an attorney who specializes in DUI law. If you need to find a lawyer, go to, which can help you locate an attorney specializing in DUI / Drunk Driving / DMV law in California.

Careful & cooperate at sobriety checkpoints. Even if you have not consumed any alcohol or drugs, you should cooperate with law enforcement authorities if instructed to pull over at a drunk driving checkpoint, which an increasing number of states conduct during major holiday weekends, such as Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.

Driving under the influence is a fatal problem as well because 41 percent of total traffic deaths are caused by drunk drivers, and this is a very large number that should not exist at all.

And this is why DUI laws in the US have become extremely strict. For example, the California DUI offense laws have given way to approximately 200,000 DUI arrests every year. The California DUI offense law has enforced strict and stringent measures against people who have found to have a blood alcohol count of 0.08% or more.

California DUI offense laws are so strict that the state leads the nation in DUI arrests. These laws are meant to reduce the number of DUI cases. And victims and survivors of drunk-driving crashes have supported the California DUI offense law. It is crucial to have strict DUI Laws so that drunk drivers are not allowed to put the lives of others at risk

California DUI offense laws include specifics such as blood alcohol content level test, license suspension or revocation, checking of ignition interlocks device in the vehicle, field sobriety test to assess physical and mental alertness, and many others.

First time offenders charged under the DUI law could be sentenced to jail with minimum fine. However second offenses occurring within seven years of the first are dealt with more harsh law. It could be a minimum of ten days of jail and fines up to $10,000 and suspension of driving license for not less than three years. Similarly DUI schooling may also be recommended and this may range from 15 weeks to 18 months. And the state of California can also sale your vehicle or impound it with the proceeds going towards charity.

California DUI offense laws have severe criminal penalties based on the severity of the outcome of DUI related crash.

California DUI offense laws have changed over the years in order to curb the increasing number of deaths and injuries occurring due to DUI related accidents. California DUI offense laws have been argued to be unconstitutional in that by automatically finding drivers guilty, a person loses his or her right to have a trial by jury. However at the same time it has been argued to be ‘legal per se’. It is a very unfortunate fact that DUI accidents take an innocent life every thirty minutes, so it is argued that DUI laws should allow for impartial jury trials.

Based on the California DUI offense law, a person under the influence of alcohol is charged on two counts, a Vehicle Code section 23152(a) count, driving impaired by alcohol and 23152(b), driving above 0.08% blood alcohol content

Statistics have proved that since the enactment of the 0.08% blood alcohol count California DUI offense law, the DUI arrests have decreased by an assenting rate of 45%. And also the number of deaths and injuries has shown a 50 percent decrease. These are positive indications, which prove that to an extent, the imposition of fines and punishments has shown affirmative results.